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MBreslau's reviews view profile

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It's Paul - that's usually good enough reason to rent.  
on July 22, 2012 - 9:30 AM PDT
  of Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist: Proud Valley / Native Land (Criterion Collection) (1940)

Proud Valley is a fine showcase for singing, and Robeson really developed a fondness for the Welsh people while making it. He enjoyed it, and you will too.

Native Land is pure pro-union propaganda that starts and ends in patriotic documentary boilerplate style. The remainder is recreations of the strong-arm tactics that the wealthy used against the working people. Today unions have gotten much weaker and the middle class has shrunk, as the bosses have found more subtle, hard-to-fight ways of busting unions. View this if you're a working person, downtrodden, or liberal. If you're a tea-partier or right-winger, you'll want to skip this one.
A Marvelous Movie!  
on July 22, 2012 - 7:22 AM PDT
  of Hugo (2011)

Excellent acting, visuals and audio.
Seamlessly blends past and present, real and digital, fantasy and reality.
Note that while dialog is in English, they are using English translations of French idioms - a neat but subtle touch.
It has something for everyone (except sex scenes) - highly recommended!
Beautiful and Thought-Provoking  
on July 13, 2012 - 4:44 AM PDT
  of Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? (2010)

Excellently made documentary - a feast for the eyes and food for ecological concerns.

What are we doing to our planet?
Two full-length films for the price of one  
on July 2, 2012 - 9:54 AM PDT
  of Room Service / At the Circus (1938)

These may be the least well known of the Marx Brothers movies - and perhaps the earliest too. We get to hear Groucho sing (not bad), and all kinds of silliness, and too many musical interludes that do little to enhance the movies. FWIW, I enjoyed Circus more than Service.

All Marx fans should see these at least once.
Very good, but scary, documentary  
on June 29, 2012 - 12:24 PM PDT
  of Gasland (2010)

Not for the squeamish, easily frightened, or tea-party Republicans.
Not Michael Moore, but has an impact just the same.

If you're still here, this is a thought-provoking film that pulls no punches. Highly recommended,
Entertaining, but...  
on June 23, 2012 - 6:49 AM PDT
  of Animal Crackers (The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection) (1930)

In 1930, someone hadn't figured out how to make a Marx brothers film.
This epic is laden with superfluous musical numbers (a poor man's Gilbert and Sullivan), a plot that is spotty at best, and it cannot decide if it's a comedy, a mystery, a romance, or whatever. By trying to please everybody, it pleases very few.

That said, it does have the Marx brothers - and that counts for a lot. It has a number of classic Groucho lines (I once shot an elephant in my pajamas) and much brilliant sillyness.
Horror poorly disguised as Science Fiction  
on June 10, 2012 - 9:03 AM PDT
  of Outer Limits Original Series Complete Box Set (Vol 1, Disc 1) (1963)

Alas, there is no Rod Serling or Gene Roddenberry to rescue this effort.
"Scary" movies with cheap special effects (considering when it was made, that's understandable) do not float my boat. Go see "Forbidden Planet" and compare to "The Man With the Power' - the latter comes off the loser by far.
On the other hand, if you like this stuff, there are eight one-hour programs on each DVD...
Very good - you need not be a youngster...  
on May 25, 2012 - 6:07 AM PDT
  of Happy Feet (2006)

Stunning, realistic CGI visuals, astonishingly faithful to reality.
A heartwarming story (if predictable) with an ecological message at the end. Like the very best Disney animations, it has a few brief moments of peril/terror - if you absolutely cannot stand fear, you have been warned. I recommend this film for everyone else..
Fascinating, innovative, but not fun...  
on April 22, 2012 - 7:41 AM PDT
  of American Splendor (2003)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

The film is made in a variety of novel styles - comic-book illustration (static and animated), live action, and surreal. It breaks the forth wall by mixing real people and the actors portraying them in the same shot.
Thus far, highly original.

However, Pekar spend a total of ONE SECOND smiling; the rest of the time he looks depressed, indifferent, or angry. Why should I spend my screen viewing time on a product that doesn't make me feel happy or at least informed?
Very good movie; excellent cast  
on March 17, 2012 - 6:33 AM PDT
  of Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Remarkably good CGI, highly realistic. A moving, if familiar, story line with the customary hollywood happy ending instead of Shakespeare's tragedy. Recommended viewing for everyone in the family.
Couldn't watch it.  
on March 16, 2012 - 5:01 AM PDT
  of Freaky Friday (2003)

I'm allergic to films in which the protagonist has no luck except bad luck, no ambition except perfect indolence, and no talent to speak of.

The principals here are all paper-thin stereotypes. The daughter won't get out of bed, won't make any effort, accepts (grudgingly) everything that happens to her, and spends her time in detention or playing with her band. The mother is the typical overworked, over scheduled, working mom who is helpless to correct (or even to perceive) the problems of her offspring. The younger brother is the quintessential annoying brat who gets away with everything he does.

Sure, there is probably redemption at the end of the movie, but we couldn't bear to watch it to see how it comes about.
We laughed and laughed  
on March 9, 2012 - 5:07 AM PST
  of Top Secret! (1984)

You have to watch this film two or more times to catch all the sight gags in the background (or the foreground). Sometimes silly, sometimes sophomoric, this is a hoot to watch.
Should have been titled "Dragon Bonus Disc"  
on March 3, 2012 - 6:26 AM PST
  of Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010)

The 'feature' is more like a short - less than 30 minutes. Good minutes, but still...

On the other hand, the 'extras' are very good, and longer than the feature.

Don't bother viewing this if you haven't seen Hot to Train Your Dragon.
A fine, affectionate, tearjerker movie  
on February 17, 2012 - 5:22 AM PST
  of The Notebook (Full Screen) (2004)

I normally dislike 'the entire story is told in flashbacks' movies, but in this one it adds to the impact. The only drawback is that it's over two hours long. Recommended for older people, young adults with patience, anyone who is deeply in love, and men who like chick flicks.

Excellent visuals and fine cinematography.
It's sad to watch a great premise being butchered  
on February 12, 2012 - 7:04 AM PST
  of Night at the Museum (Special Edition) (2006)

If you think bad things happening to someone else is funny, you will find this funny. If you are four years old (or a retarded five year old), you may find this film funny. If you can tolerate the protagonist being a bad-luck-magnet of zero accomplishments, then you might enjoy the film.

On the other hand, a great deal of talent is wasted on this turkey. The CGI and camerawork are first-rate and the image quality is very good.

My wife and I were frequent visitors to this museum, and we know and love every exhibit in it. As such we loved the scenery and hated the movie.
Target Audience: Young Girls...  
on January 24, 2012 - 2:29 PM PST
  of Full Moon vol. 1: I Want to Sing! (2006)

Experienced Anime viewers will find this highly predictable, but if you haven't seen much soujou anime you might enjoy it. I prefer Fancy Lala - a better example of this sub-genre.

The story involves a pre-puberty girl magically promoted to age 16 and cured of her throat cancer. The obligatory cute sidekicks this time are the two death spirits (shinigami) in their alternative forms.

The animation is low-budget (low frame rate, few moving parts), and the character style - while popular in Japan - takes some getting used to. The art in general (background, mainly) is good.
I couldn't watch it  
on January 6, 2012 - 5:05 AM PST
  of Shaun of the Dead (2004)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Maybe it's my fault, but I had to eject this after only ten minutes.
First, I have a hearing impairment and I could not interpret the British accents. So I went to activate subtitles. It said there we're six subtitle tracks, but refused to let me select any of them. "Not Available" indeed!

The menus were unnavigable (couldn't tell where the cursor was); the previews didn't let me skip to the next preview; etc. Annoying.

BTW, I have a top-of-the-line, new BLu-Ray player so I can't blame my equipment. Maybe I needed a British player???
More Tim Burton than Lewis Carroll  
on December 30, 2011 - 8:26 AM PST
  of Alice in Wonderland (2010)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

This is the least faithful (to the source) of any film Alice available on GreenCine, but it's a good film just the same. Carroll would never have posited Alice to be 19, and certainly would not have her bursting out of her clothing every time she changes size (It's Disney, so it's clean!)
Depp does his best to steal every scene that he's in, but this can be distracting to some viewers.
An excellent movie that I could not watch.  
on December 23, 2011 - 5:32 AM PST
  of Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Great acting, cinematography, pacing, etc. A wonderfully made film.

However, I watch programs that leave me feeling happier. I'm sensitive, and identify with the characters of the movie. Watching two hours of degrading, gratuitous, and incomprehensible violence is not my idea of a good time. In fact, I expect to have nightmares for days to come.
You have been warned.
A comedy of manners?  
on December 10, 2011 - 6:07 AM PST
  of The Importance of Being Earnest (Criterion Collection) (1952)

At first I thought I was watching 'Pride and Prejudice' set as a comedy.
This is not really fair. but it was my first impression. If you have a tolerance for British-accented upper-class duplicitous twits the you will enjoy this movie. If not, you may be missing a very cleverly constructed comedy.
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